U.K. retail sales posted a surprise fall in November, marking a fourth straight month without growth for the first time since at least 1996. The volume of goods sold in stores and online fell 0.6%, the largest decline this year, the Office for National Statistics said Thursday. Economists had expected a 0.2% increase. Sales excluding auto fuel also dropped 0.6%. The headline measure has now failed to increase since July, the longest period without an expansion since the ONS’s records began 23 years ago. It means sales will drag on fourth quarter growth barring a robust 1.5% increase in December. Read more at Bloomberg.